One Year Checkups; Why Are They Important?
Going to the vet is an important part of your pet’s health regimen. You should not visit the vet just because your pet becomes sick. It is important to see your vet at least once a year for your pet’s yearly checkup. These checkups can help to catch any problems while they are in the developing stages. Your pet’s wellbeing and longevity will depend on these yearly vet checkups. Below, you will learn what happens during a routine check up and some of the things you should discuss with your vet.
Booster Shots and Physical Examinations
Some vets recommend annual booster shots. This is an ongoing debate as some vets believe that yearly vaccination is too much while others believe it is necessary to maintain your pets health. The good part about the booster shot is that it is not harmful to your pet’s health and it creates a good pattern of going to the vet. When you go to the vet, not only will your pet get the booster shot but an entire physical examination. The vet will also ask you questions about your pet’s diet, behavior and other questions that may help to identify any potential health problems. This part of the yearly check up is crucial since this is the moment where small problems are discovered which could become life threatening if not detected.
What Will Be Examined?
There are some general target areas that are prone to disease in animals. Your vet will check out these areas in depth in order to make sure that your pet is healthy. Your vet will look at the following areas:
• Your pet’s weight
• The eyes and ears (especially for mites in the ears)
• Perform a Dental examination
• Perform a Musculoskeletal examination
• Your pet’s overall appearance; fur and skin. The vet will also check for lumps.
This is a great time to bring up any concerns that you may have. If you have noticed any bumps, you can indicate to your vet where you found the bump, how long the bump has been there and if it has grown in size. If you have any other pet related questions such as whether you should implant a microchip, when to have your pet spayed or neutered or any other concerns can be discussed at this time. Depending on the initial results of the basic physical exam, follow up tests may be scheduled such as a biopsy of a lump.
Older Pet Vet Visits
For older pets, you may want to see the vet more than once a year. Every 6 months is recommended for cats and dogs over the age of 7. These visits help to detect and monitor diseases that are normally found in animals of this age, such as arthritis. Your veterinarian will also use additional tests appropriate for senior pets such as blood tests, stool exams, a biochemical profile and an analysis of their urine.
Between your yearly visits you should be aware of any changes in your pet’s health. If any of these conditions become serious such as chronic lethargy, large lumps, coughing, changing in behavior, any types of discharges, weight gain or loss and changes in eating habits, you should see your vet right away. Throughout the year, you should be feeding your pet properly with a nutritious diet, keeping up with your pet’s dental care, following through with parasite control and observing your pet’s overall appearance.
Yearly checkups are very important for your pet’s overall well being and health. If you cannot remember the last time that you went to the vet, it is wise to make an appointment to make sure that your pet is in good health. Regular checkups will lead to a healthier and happier life for your pet.
This newsletter/website is not intended to replace the services of a doctor. It does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information in this newsletter/website is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for professional advice. Please do not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating any condition.